The Cloudwalking Owl

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About The Cloudwalking Owl

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  1. Frantzis and China

    Just what exactly do you mean by the term "discharge"?
  2. Chi kung and insanity

    Do you mean General Guan stroking beard? Kwan Yin is a woman (at least in China---he has a moustache in Tibet, but I've never seen a beard.)
  3. Tracing back Lineages

    I think it's important to remember that a lot of lineage stuff consists of "wild history". For example, most scholars I have read suggest that Damo never really existed and is instead a mythical figure. I have read a fair amount on this subject with regard to Zen buddhism (which puts a huge emphasis on lineage for theological reasons) and it turns out that a fair number of Zen masters were given their "inka" (or license as a Zen lineage holder) for reasons that had nothing at all to do with attainment. It is good to have a handle on one's history, but unfortunately lineage has become a huge crutch that gets in the way of honest study. Having said that, I have a Master's degree from a Western University and if you think about it, that is pretty much the same thing as being given a lineage license in a tradition that is traceable all the way back to Socrates and Plato. The difference between it and an Eastern lineage license is that I can do research and work back through all the generations, and there is a collective process that involves oversight from a lot of various government officials and official bodies. In contrast, the lineage system for a lot of Eastern schools are totally idiosyncratic---which will inevitably cause problems. (I have a lineage chart from the school that initiated me. The few lines above my teacher might be useful, but beyond that it enters looney land---culminating in the Laozi and Damo.) One final note. Traditionally in China, I believe that religious people were government regulated. If you read a lot of novels you will see that Daoists had to have a license from the government to practice. (This is still the case.) This involved sanctions for misbehaviour. For example, I am reading a translation of Journey to the West, and at one point the Tang Monk and his disciples save a female and let her tag along with them in the wilderness. One of the arguments that Monkey makes against this is to say that if any government officials find a Buddhist monk travelling with a woman he would be executed and his disciples punished. In this sort of context licenses and lineage documents have practical importance.
  4. freemasonry

    Take it for what it's worth, but I had a taijiquan student who who was also learning hung gar from a guy who was supposedly taught his martial art to be an "enforcer" for the Chinese FreeMasons of Victoria British Columbia. He was an old guy. But supposedly he had broken his allegiance and left the group. That is the only time I have ever heard of the "Chinese Free Masons"---but it makes for a good story.
  5. Coral castle, Florida

    Here's one suggestion about how both he and the ancient Egyptians did it: I grew up on a farm where if you couldn't do things for yourself, it didn't get done. As a result, we learned that the whole idea of "moving a thousands pounds with four ounces of force" was simply mechanics.
  6. Learn baguazhang and qigong from dvds?

    It's impossible to learn baguazhang and quigong from a teacher too----. Ultimately, you can get exposed to a form but you have to figure it out for yourself. On a practical level, if you try to learn an art from a video, even if it is terrible, it means that you will learn that much faster when you actually do manage to find a teacher. And don't forget that there are a lot of very, very bad teachers out there. Ultimately, you have to figure it out for yourself----.
  7. Dealing With Emotions

    The best method I've come across is to say to yourself (either verbally or internally) what you are feeling. So when you are embarrassed say "Feeling embarrassment". This allows you to "hold onto the One". I came across this in a sermon at my Unitarian Church where someone talked about a Buddhist teacher who was in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease. He found himself in front of a crowd of people in a lecture hall and totally forgot what he was supposed to be saying. So he simply listed out loud all the emotions he was feeling, joined his hands together and bowed to the audience (i.e. "Feeling embarrassment", bow. "Feeling shame", bow. "Feeling anxious", bow. etc.) I use this technique all the time. The important point is to understand the separation between your various souls and don't forget about your higher self ("The One", or in Buddhist terms, "the Buddha Mind".) You don't have to try and put your lower self in chains, just remember that the higher one exists and identify with it instead of the lower one. (I know, easier said than done---.)
  8. Tao Bums Martial Arts

    I learned the Yang form open hand set through the Daoist Tai Chi society (not terribly good, but the only game in town) for about five years and then left them. I've kept practicing since then (close to 25 years now) and attend various workshops and lessons when I can. This has included the five animal frolics that a grad student was teaching, a summer course on sword that a technician who used to be a member of a Chinese provincial wushu team was teaching, various workshops that the Canadian Taijiquan Federation was holding, and, an intro to XingYi and Bagua workshop that Andrea Falk was holding in my area. I'm currently working through a Chen spear routine that I have on a dvd.
  9. Little miracles around us

    Idiot Savants have been well-described by the psychological literature for a long time. It is a rare form of autism and is a miracle in the same way that cancer or any other disease is. My question would be "when this little girl grows up will she be able to provide for herself---or will she have to live in a group home or institution?"
  10. Is it real? National Geographic

    Wait a minute! I am not saying that I do not practice neidan or know the experiences people are talking about here. I am saying "been there, done that, and it isn't the way people are describing things---". That is very, very different from dismissing things out of hand.
  11. Is it real? National Geographic

    Ah yes---but is it the "truth" that allows airplanes to fly through the air, or the "truth" that said that the earth is flat?
  12. Is it real? National Geographic

    And my response is to look at this website: The "aura" in an Kirlian photograph is simply an electrical discharge---.
  13. Is it real? National Geographic

    I wouldn't place much faith in this video. Everything I saw on it can be reproduced by various quite explainable phenomena. Fro example, did you notice that in some of the shots the guy was playing with the "funny bone" on the arms of the fellow on the massage table? There are a lot of things that you can do by manipulating the acupressure points of someone that will make their muscles jump. As well, there is a phenonmena known as "suggestion" that many people are susceptible to. If you are good at it, and you find the right person, you can get them to do all sorts of things. One of the problems with videos is that producers only show you the situations where it "worked". This is also a problem with people who won't let you know anything about them---you have no way of checking up on stuff. Finally, the bit about pushing the chopstick through the table. This would be very easy to reproduce simply by having a table with a hole drilled through the back. The knee could push the chopstick through the formica table top. Ultimately, Daoism is about making people better human beings rather than being able to fart lightning bolts. Nothing on this video---even if true---compares with the wonders of modern medicine and engineering.
  14. How to manipulate or control chi?

    I can guarantee that not a single person on this discussion group is doing their taijiquan form "right". No matter how often you do it, it is constantly changing and you should be learning more and more. People often get funny feeling in their hands and other parts of their body when they start doing taijiquan. IMHO, a better indication of how you are doing is whether or not your tailbone has unfused and the cartilage in your chest has decalcified. When the former happens you usually hear a loud crack and you can feel it breaking free. With the latter, your chest goes through about a month or so of sounding like you are breaking a bundle of dry sticks over your knee every time you flex it.
  15. What makes you a true Taoist?

    Just as there are variations in the definition of "Christianity", so there are with Daoism. I think the discussion is more fruitful than any absolute statements. I think that a lot of people are misguided when they dismiss the Daoist religion as just "superstition". I also think that traditionalists are misguided when they say that no one who isn't Chinese and initiated into a recognized lineage should call themselves a "Daoist". The word itself is a Western invention more than anything else, so Westerners should be able to define it in a way that fits their experience. What I am concerned about is that some folks tend to conflate the idea of "Daoism" with something that looks a lot like something from a Star Wars movie. Daoists are not "Jedi Knights" who manifest "the Force" but instead call it "qi". I would suggest that instead a Daoist is someone who has personally identified with an ancient religious/philosophical tradition that makes some pretty radical statements about the universe, people's place within it, and, what is the best way to live.